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Aaron Rodgers Rumors: 'No Trade Market' for Packers QB; Star Likely Won't Opt Out

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 2, 2021

Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers have reportedly found "no trade market" for disgruntled superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers ahead of the 2021 NFL season.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported the update on Get Up, also noting it's unlikely Rodgers will utilize the league's COVID-19 opt-out before Friday's deadline:

"I checked in with people around the league this morning. The feeling is that Aaron Rodgers probably won't opt out, but he got that $6.8 million roster bonus in March, so even if that's paid out in installments, he still has it. Maybe that's enough for him to say I'm going to limit the Packers' options and sit out and make that clear.

"Now, I talked to a source who said, 'look, he's the most competitive person in the world, opting out and killing his season right now on July 2 would be difficult for him to do.' Greeny, I've also checked in with multiple teams around the league who are monitoring the Aaron Rodgers trade situation. They said there is no trade market for Rodgers right now."

Fowler later clarified his reporting on Twitter:

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

Valuable context, as I explained on show before Zoom snafu cut out part of answer: No market because GB still giving zero indications it's trading him. Hence, there's nothing for monitoring teams to do right now. <a href="https://t.co/GLmYqekjvi">https://t.co/GLmYqekjvi</a>

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Rodgers became the focus of trade rumors after ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in late April the three-time NFL MVP had "told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team," but there's never been a suggestion a blockbuster deal was imminent.

Instead, the Packers' decision-makers have publicly stated on several occasions they have no plans to move the 37-year-old before the new season.   

"We're not going to trade Aaron Rodgers," general manager Brian Gutekunst told reporters soon after news of the signal-caller's unhappiness emerged.

Packers president Mark Murphy added in an early June post on the team's official website they remained "committed to resolving things with Aaron."

Yet Rodgers has also seemingly dug in his heels, with Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reporting in early May the quarterback "remains adamant that he won't return to the team under the current stewardship of general manager Brian Gutekunst," with an extended holdout or retirement among his options.

So the staredown continues with Green Bay set to open training camp July 27. For now, with the Packers unwilling to entertain interest in Rodgers, who's under contract through 2023 as part of a four-year, $134 million deal, there hasn't been any bidding war among the multiple teams that would undoubtedly want to pursue the 2020 MVP.

The nine-time Pro Bowl selection would seemingly be an ideal target for a team that feels its roster is otherwise ready to contend for a Super Bowl title. The Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints and Washington Football Team are among the squads that fit the mold.

Assuming Rodgers doesn't utilize the opt-out option before Friday, it will be interesting to see whether the impending start of training camp spurs action, whether it's an increased amount of trade talk or the sides trying to find a way to resolve their differences.

Neither side would benefit from a long-term holdout. The Packers have championship aspirations, and Rodgers is approaching 40 while coming off an MVP season. They should be gearing up for a double-digit win season and a deep playoff run, goals far less likely if Jordan Love is thrust into the starting lineup.

At least for now, however, the lack of movement remains the story with a little more than two months until Green Bay opens the regular season by visiting the Saints on Sept. 12.

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